Worse colors quality for game view vs. scene view

In this particular project, I have a particle system that uses a texture similar to the default particle. It’s a simple circle gradient with transparency.

This particle system looks great in scene view, but horrible in the game view, and I’m not exactly sure why. Just for reference, I’m on 2021.3.13f with 2D URP. I do have post processing enabled on my main camera, with a pixel perfect component attached.

Scene view quality -

Game view quality -

Actual build -

The coloring in the build is a bit different after a slight change to the particle material, but the quality is just as bad as the game view.

This is several particles overlapping each other, and fading out as their life begins/ends. I cannot seem to figure out why there’s such a huge difference in quality here.

This reminds me of jpeg compression, for some reason. Anyhow, does anyone know where I can start looking in order to try and solve this issue, or is this just something I have to live with?

If I am missing some info here, just let me know what it is, and I’ll include it in my next post.

If this happens in the latest 2021 lts make a but report. At least game view and builds should look alike (scene view sometimes has slight tweaks, but also should be similar btw)

Hmm, I'm not on the latest 2021 LTS. I'll upgrade to that and recheck.

EDIT: Game view and the actual build look almost identical (not in the screen shots above, though, as I changed some material value). So, at least I know the game view is giving me what I should expect in the build. Still, I don't think it should look quite that bad..

Switching to the latest LTS made no difference. Although, I have a feeling this isn't related to some sort of bug, but something else I'm not seeing.

I can submit a bug report either way, but I'm not convinced that's the reason for this obvious downgrade in quality. I'll have to see if I can reproduce this issue in a brand new project, and then see if it's something specific to my original project.

Brand new project with the same renderer settings, same camera settings, same scene sprites, same particle settings, same volume settings, same project quality settings, and I’m getting the exact same results with game view and scene view as my original project.

For reference -

Scene view -

Game view -

I’m willing to hand over this new project to anyone willing to take a look.

Did you change material values again? The olor seems different to me. Otherwise I’m not sure about the issue

I suppose I should have been a bit more clear about what it is I am referring to here (I tend to do this..)

It isn't so much the actual "color" of the particles, it's the obvious "compression" look, where you can see what's known as "color banding", and other artifacts.

Also, you can see in the last image on the bottom, there is a yellow-ish tint to the edges when the particles fade out. Other then that, the difference is fairly obvious. It appears as if the scene view has zero compression, with a perfect gradient of color, and the coloring is perfect, whereas the game view appears to have a ton of compression (for lack of a better term), almost like a jpeg vs a png, or raw image. The overall quality of the particle blending is terrible, where the scene view looks flawless.

Ahhhhh I see now. I was looking on my phone so didn't see it at first.
1. What texture compression is used?
2. Maybe still make a bug report and attatch this thread as well

OK, so I appear to be getting somewhere here -

It looks as if this is possibly related to HDR. If I disable HDR in the “Output” section of the main camera, the scene view and game view appear to be absolutely identical, but the color banding is there in both scene view and game view. The coloring and quality are identical, though.

As soon as I enable HDR, the scene view will have zero color banding with a perfect gradient for each particle (very smooth and fluid look), but the game view appears to not get rid of the color banding completely (it’s not as bad, but still obviously there), but also has worse coloring overall.

EDIT: Just to answer your question - there’s no texture compression on the imported texture. However, I tried changing all kinds of settings on the texture itself, but had zero luck. I even tried making a seriously large version of the gradient texture, but that doesn’t help, either.

Here’s the image that’s being used for the particles -


Welp, looks like this issue was resolved on later versions of Unity -

I don’t know if there’s a way to change the precision for HDR in earlier versions, but it appears as though I’d have to upgrade to the latest Unity version if I want to resolve this problem

EDIT: I can confirm that upgrading to Unity 2022.2.1f1 has, indeed, fixed this problem (by switching to 64 bit precision in debug mode).

I don’t know how I feel about working on a critical project in an non-LTS version of Unity, though…

Also to note, the 2D team don’t implement the URP stuff so you’re always best to post this stuff on the URP forum.

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Noted, thanks :wink:

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OMG so glad I found this post. Thank you - no HDR on the camera works in 2021.

Was experiencing significant weird color banding in game view only.